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Merry Christmas! 25 Dec 2007

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Crystal structure of a protein with unknown function from Xanthomonas campestris, a plant pathogen. Eight copies of the protein crystallized to form a ring.

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I’m Geekier Than I Thought 22 Dec 2007

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Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 92 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?

I’m not sure if I should be proud or frightened.

Saturday Comic 15 Dec 2007

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Campaign Videos 13 Dec 2007

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You won’t see these on TV, but none of the ones on TV come close to being this funny.

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Time For Something Humorous 13 Dec 2007

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I need a laugh, and chances are you need one too. So I’ll point out that the Wacky Warning Label Contest winners have been announced. This year’s top prize goes to a label on a tractor that says, “Danger! Avoid Death!”

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Merry F***ing Christmas 13 Dec 2007

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I don’t have anything insightful or witty to say right now.  I have just been informed by my employer that my services are no longer required, effective at the end of tomorrow.  It’s not a surprise – the grant I was working on ends this month and I was pretty sure that I would be out after that.  I was just hoping it would happen after the holidays.

Oh well, time to mosey on over to the Employment Security website and start the ball rolling on unemployment checks.

im on ur space shuttle…. 12 Dec 2007

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Forget faulty fuel gauges, this is the REAL reason that NASA scrubbed the shuttle launch:

And I, for one, welcome our new spider overlords.

Creationism Vs. Astronomy 12 Dec 2007

Posted by Jessa in Non-Science, Religion.
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It seems that creationists have expanded their ire to another branch of science – astronomy.

Bad Astronomy Blog has already given some hints at the dumbness. See if you can find more.

Sadly, No has several versions of the video, in case you’re into making your brain bleed.

Bad News: Terry Pratchett Has Early-Onset Alzheimer’s 12 Dec 2007

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In what he titled “An Embuggerance” on his post, Terry Pratchett announced that he has a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s. But he still has his marvelous sense of humor, as seen in the post-script of his post:

PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think – it’s too soon to tell. I know it’s a very human thing to say “Is there anything I can do”, but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors, and the originator of one of my favorite quotes:

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

Best wishes, Terry.

Time To Worry About Grandma 10 Dec 2007

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Grandmothers and other relatives of college students, that is. Having been a TA in graduate school, I can relate to the following “report”: “The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome and the Potential Downfall Of American Society“.

The basic problem can be stated very simply: A student’s grandmother is far more likely to die suddenly just before the student takes an exam, than at any other time of year.

So students, be sure to check on your elderly relatives. You wouldn’t want to miss an exam, would you?

True story (and decidedly unfunny): My grandfather died five days before I was scheduled to defend my doctoral dissertation.  I obviously couldn’t miss the funeral, and I wasn’t about to try to reschedule my defense (it took me two months to find a date when all of my committee members were free).  So I had to scramble and fly halfway across the country for the funeral, then fly back in time to defend.  It was a horrible week.  Thank FSM for benzodiazepines.